The 2017 MSPT Denver Poker Open at Golden Gates Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado saw 413 entrants (88 on 1A, 147 1B, and 178 1C) pony up the $1,100 buy-in to compete in the tour’s third-to-last event of the season.
On late Sunday night, 38-year-old roofing salesman and part-time poker player Jason Beasley, originally from Oregon but now residing in Denver, came out on top to win an $88,134 first-place prize.
“I feel good,” said Beasley, who has 19-year-old daughter and helps raise his two-year-old granddaughter. “It’s a little bit different rush from cash games. This is my biggest win. My dad has been a leather-ass grinder for over 40 years. He was watching the live stream back in Oregon.”
The win marked Beasley’s first MSPT cash, though he had $159,358 in tournament winnings before the win. That included a previous best of $66,820 for winning the 2005 Fall Poker Round Up in Pendleton, Oregon.
Day 2 saw 78 players return to action, but only 45 of them would get paid. Among those to leave empty handed were Las Vegas poker pro Tim West, MSPT Season 3 Running Aces champ Rodger Johnson, and MSPT Season 7 Golden Gates Regional winner “Money” Mike Maruna, just to name a few.
After Eric Maier exited as the bubble boy in 46th place, the result of his Big Slick failing to hold against Nils Bardsley’s queen-seven, the in-the-money finishes came quick. They included recent World Series of Poker Circuit Harveys Lake Tahoe Main Event winner Max Young (45th - $2,303), MSPT Golden Gates Regional Champ Gerald Morrell (36th - $2,404), start-of-the-day chip leader Jay Daignault (26th - $2,804), MSPT Season 6 Golden Gates Regional champ Bobby Sanoubane (18th - $4,407), and 2016 MSPT Michigan State Poker Champ Brett Blackwood (11th - $6,410).
At the final table, Andrew Geffen was the first to fall after jamming queen-ten suited smack dab into Cooper Wanty’s aces. Not long after, Nils Bardsley first lost sixes into nines, and then busted in ninth places after running fours into fives.
Bruce Russell followed them out the door in eighth place after flopping trip jacks only to discover he had an inferior kicker to Mike Monetti, and Will Mietz was hot on his heels after getting it in with queens against Monetti’s kings.
From there, Mike Wheeler fell in sixth place when his pocket eights failed to hold against Beasley’s Big Slick, and then Wanty bowed out in fifth after he got his short stack in with six-three suited and failing to get there against Monetti’s queen-deuce.
The elimination of Gerald Cunniff in fourth place, the result of his king-two of spades not improving against Monetti’s ace-seven of spades, and Jon Wurden in third, he missed an open-ended straight draw, set up a heads-up match between Monetti and Beasley.
Monetti started with more chips, but the lead would change hands several times before things came to a head in Level 31 (60,000/120,000/20,000). Long story short, it happened when Monetti flopped an open-ended straight draw and Beasley got sticky with ace-king suited. Monetti bluffed the river, which was an ace, and Beasley picked him off.